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Stand with Sen. Warren: Corporations must answer to workers and communities

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Petition to Congress:

"Raise wages and fight inequality by forcing corporations to be accountable to employees and communities, not just shareholders. Support Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Accountable Capitalism Act."

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    Stand with Sen. Warren: Corporations must answer to workers and communities

    Conservative corporate puppets launched unhinged verbal attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new corporate reform bill. They said it is a plan to "nationalize… everything," amounts to "the wholesale expropriation of private enterprise in the United States and nothing less," and would "destroy capitalism."1

    They're completely untethered from reality. In truth, Sen. Warren's bill would simply require corporations to care about more than just enriching executives and stockholders.2

    We need to show how many of us have Sen. Warren's back and support making corporations accountable to employees and communities.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Corporations must answer to workers and communities.

    Corporations only exist because government-granted charters allow them to profit, for instance, by protecting owners from full liability for anything the corporation does wrong. In return, corporate boards and executives used to believe they had a responsibility to do right by workers and communities as well as competing in the market. That all changed in the 1980s, when corporate executives began to focus narrowly on providing value to shareholders.3

    The result? Executives get paid based on how much they can squeeze workers without regard for their health, the environment or the impact on communities. Focusing on shareholder value poured fuel on the flames of inequality. Today, CEOs make on average of 361 times more than their average worker, and the few Americans who own stock get most of the wealth created. Meanwhile, many companies aren't innovating, investing in future production or raising wages.4

    Sen. Warren's plan makes corporations accountable to American interests, not their own. It would:5

    • Demand more of corporations. Corporations that rake in more than $1 billion would need to get a federal charter – not a lax state-based one – that includes new responsibilities to take communities and workers into account, modeled on existing "benefit corporations."
    • Give workers more say. Under the new charters, employees would elect at least 40 percent of the corporate board of directors, a model proven effective in countries like Germany. That means workers would have a massive voice in compensating executives and setting priorities.
    • Rein in inequality and political influence. Executives would face new limits on their ability to profit off of the sale of company stock. Corporations would not be able to spend any money influencing elections unless 75 percent of shareholders and directors approve it.

    The hate from right-wing Republicans and their Wall Street allies for this plan betrays their loyalty to the super-wealthy over widespread economic growth and raising wages. We need to stand with Sen. Warren and demand corporate reform now.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Corporations must answer to workers and communities.

    References:

    1. Matt Yglesias, "Kevin Williamson’s unhinged attack on Elizabeth Warren’s corporate accountability bill, explained", Vox, Aug. 17, 2018.
    2. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, "Companies Shouldn’t Be Accountable Only to Shareholders," The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 14, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Matt Yglesias,"Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism," Vox, Aug. 15, 2018.
    5. Warren, "Companies Shouldn’t Be Accountable Only to Shareholders."